Interview with Eddie Hermida of All Shall Perish
When speaking to Eddie Hermida, lead vocalist for Bay Area death metal unit All Shall Perish on August 27th, we spoke about his experiences from the band’s inaugural appearance on the Mayhem Festival as well as the rush of having their new album THIS IS W
Give me your impression about your first time a tour as big as the Mayhem Fest. Give us some dirt, man.
Well, dirt. Yeah, sorry there's no dirt when we've been getting to play in front of at least 2,000 people a day. That is probably one of the coolest things we've ever done. We are fortunate as far as just being able to play a touring festival with so many fans. Having all the fans in one spot also kind of feels like the competition walls have been broken down. On top of that, the fans didn't even feel like fans, it all felt like one big giant ball of sweat and madness. We're all there suffering through the heat and all there to have a good time. That to me was one of the coolest things about festivals like this…it just kind of felt like everybody there was this big, united army almost. So that's kind of my take on that. You know, I remember going to see Candiria out in San Francisco, and have them be 300 people there and you just felt like you were a part of the band. It's right there with you. And I tell you, there's nothing better than that. We had played a couple of club shows in between Mayhem and I'll tell you, you never forget it, the whole energy, it certainly is way more exhilarating in the clubs, people get to breathe the same shitty breath…that's when you're letting real sweat, you know? That isn't to take away from what Mayhem is…it was a huge opportunity for us. But we come from club sweat fests. To me that's where All Shall Perish is in their element. But, the fact that our record debuted on the charts in its first week was a direct cause of being on this massive festival. Being able to utilize those advertising skills, being able to use sort of the business assets and the business machine that is Mayhem was something that All Shall Perish truly benefited from. And I cannot thank John Reese, Kevin Lyman and all the people who stand and work for Mayhem. That that festival, I feel like, has a little bit of the remnants of what Ozzfest used to be and manipulates the conditions more to make sure that bands truly see some benefits of being on these huge, massive summer festivals…they’re big corporate events. Ultimately I would love to see All Shall Perish do an opening slot on the main stage. But, All Shall Perish is always gonna be underground, always gonna be a real heavy hitter in the club scene. We're gonna have people in the clubs, and we'll make sure the people get what they came for. We want to sit at the merch table and shake everybody's hand. I never really want to be escorted to my merch table. That to me is ridiculous, but at Mayhem you have to 'cause, 5,000 people just saw you on stage and are gonna jump your bones because of that. So that's a whole different game and I respect it, but we belong to the club scene.
Did you have a chance to catch any of the bands on your down time? Did you see any surprising people come to catch you guys?
I'd turn around and get a drink of water and I'd see somebody random like Randy from Lamb of God or Rob from Machine Head or the dudes from Unearth checking us out. When I saw that for the first time I was like, what, are you kidding? You know, being a kid from the scene, going to all the shows before I was in the band, which is essentially how I joined the band because I just loved All Shall Perish so much, I was going to the shows. I've seen all those bands countless times and for them to be sitting there offstage watching us was a really cool thing.
Talk a little bit about the new album. It is an excellent achievement for you guys breaking that glass ceiling and charting on Billboard.
Yeah. It was really weird that we're like ten spots from being a Top 40 band. That also goes to show that there's 49 musicians above didn't sell that much in comparison to what the charts used to be. We had a lot of problems with Matt and Chris and Jason all leaving the band; that was a big blow. So we were coming into this record, we were really downtrodden and worried that the band wasn't gonna sound the same or that maybe we wouldn't even be able to find people that can really fill the shoes of those people, but ultimately I think it all worked out great. I think we wrote probably the best record we've ever written given the time. Everybody was really happy to do it and everyone was really on fire when we came to the writing table. This record for me personally, there's a huge step in new direction. Realizing all the negativity I keep inside. I usually keep somewhat positive but I shed light on certain situations and aspects of life that you feel you can better yourself through. And I think that now I'm just kind of like saying, "fuck it." You know? Nobody listened, and nobody cared and now you're trying to get in and it’s too late. And pretty much now, fuck you, it's over. That goes for relationships, goes for political standings, for personal developments, all those things. It's like you wait too long, you ignore the problems in life and you wind up being fucked. And I think that we're all fucked.
All you gotta do is pick up a newspaper and see what's going down, you know?
Undoubtedly. Like I said, the economy is definitely reflecting that and less people are showing up at shows because they can't afford it. People are really struggling out there. I think the nation on a whole is ignoring it and they're trying to make it go away, trying to hush-hush it and make it go away and that's a huge failure in our personal stature.
How do you maintain your voice?
With a lot of warm up, a lot of practice, and a lot of years doing it. And that that doesn't go to say that I don't have to force at the end of the tour. You know? My voice definitely suffers from screaming. There's no way around it. You're doing something totally unnatural to your voice. However, you know, it's all muscle memory. A lot of it is just practice, man. Practice makes perfect. Just like any baseball player who throws the ball a million times…that's how they get it to first without throwing out their arm. Same practice. We're pretty much trained musicians that do our muscle exercises.
Would you like to share any final words for the readers?
All I can really ask for these days is to come home and be comfortable. I spend the majority of my time on the road and all I can really ask for is to come home and not have to struggle. I still keep a regular job. I'm a bouncer at a club and that's something I don't mind doing. It's not an office job. I still get to stay in the scene. I still work at a club and everyone is super cool. And if I can just keep my life the way it's been the last two years, I think I could die a happy man. All I really ask for is kids to come out to the shows and really thrash it up for the band. The energy that they give us is the energy that we have for them and we really can't kill shows and can't be this huge driving force in the underground scene without people coming out and really supporting All Shall Perish. So one big thing that if I could leave this interview saying is that the fans and the supports for All Shall Perish mean the absolute world to us and we'll always deliver what they want.
Pick up THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS on Nuclear Blast Records and find out more about All Shall Perish on www.allshallperish.com.